Write Read Learn

I Get it, but…

Thank you for loving him.

I get that hearing the same song repeatedly can be annoying.  Especially when all the lyrics are not accurate, and it’s usually only one or two lines over and over.  I know, there are even Christmas songs…still.  At least he’s on key.  I get it, but he loves to sing.  It makes him happy.  I see pride in his face.  No fear or hesitation.  It brings him absolute pure joy.  Pure. Joy.

It may be startling when you have him growling at you like a fierce lion, or maybe he is Elsa shooting ice out of his palms, or Spiderman shooting webs, or Superman running fast (I mean flying), or maybe he’s a doctor taking care of you again, or maybe he is a chef (a dancing chef..in his words) asking what you would like to eat, or maybe a construction worker hammering over and over and over, the list goes on.  I get it, but he’s still only 4.  He’s discovering the world.  Discovering himself.  Imagining what could be, expanding his mind.  His life.

I know it’s extra work to clean up mess he’s created.  Just when you think you’re done, he’s caused a little extra.  We’re all tired.  We all have stress to deal with.  I know it slows everything down.  I get it, but he just wants to help.  It’s in his core.  Even when you don’t ask, he just does.  He feels needed.  Satisfied.

I understand, back to sound, particularly sound effects.  Annoying at times.  Excessive most times.  Loud every time.  Vaccuums, car wash, lawn mowers, chain saws, leaf blower, really anything.  Anything that has a sound, he can generate a sound effect.  Anything.  Yes, again it’s loud.  It can create a head ache.  I get it, but when your pretending it’s crucial to have a sound.  He’s making things real.  Immersing himself.  Putting his all into everything.

It may be troublesome when he displays certain manners at the table.  There may be times when you wonder if he knows how to use a fork.  Why he’s blowing bubbles in his water (honestly, I sneak in a bubble or ten in my water too, it’s fun).  How a cheeseburger will never look like a cheeseburger again.  That he can be so much messier than his 1 year old brother.  I know, sometimes he may show you what is in his mouth.  I get it, but he’s still learning.  Still testing boundaries.  Asserting himself.  He knows manners, but he is just a kid and that pops out at the table every so often.

That’s right, you heard the word poop.  Not just once, I know.  There are a lot of silly things we hear coming out of his mouth.  Jokes.  Jokes.  Jokes.  I understand that they might not make sense.  I know we’re adults and it isn’t funny every time.  That being so silly has it’s limitations.  I get it, but he is showing you how important you are to him.  How comfortable he is with you.  He’s letting you in.  He knows that it’s not always funny, it’s a vulnerable place.  He’s trying to connect with you.  Breaking the ice.

So.  Thank you.  Coming deep from this mama’s heart.  Thank you for loving him anyway.





Learning by Connecting

“Flush,” I heard a students voice behind me say.  I look with a smirk, I see her.  “Not the toilet,” I laugh back.

An hour later…

I saw a student walking toward me.  “Hey,”  I say with a smile.  She returns the smile, “Hey”.  Her next words, “flush”.  We laugh.

In that moment, my mind returned to yesterday; to the end of they day.  A colleague and I run an after school club.  A math club.  There are 5th and 6th grade mathematicians, whose gears are turning, solving a wide range of mathematical puzzles.  A whole lotta math going on.  Except yesterday.  I mean, there was still math being learned and discovered, but yesterday there was also something more.

I came up to a group and in the process of conferring with them about their thinking and strategy, I said, “Look at the picture, the squares are flush.”  All three of them stopped and looked at me.  “Flush?”  I knew what they were thinking.  “Not the toilet!” I chuckled.  This of course prompted all of us to laugh.  “Well, what do you mean?”  I proceed to explain what it means to be flush, at least in this context.  “Oh.” I hear all three of them say.  “So look back at your puzzle, what does that make you think?”  There is no response.  They work together to shift things around, applying what we just talked about.

Before I left them, I told them that I expect them to remember the word flush.  When I see them in the hallway, I’m just going to say “flush” and I want them to remember what we talked about, and what it means.  Laughter arose again.  “Ok Mrs. Robertson, and we’ll do the same when we see you!”

There’s a whole lotta math going on, most of the time.  😉







Sunday Begins

This morning I was abruptly woken by Braeden yelling mommy, mommy, mommy!  I jolt out of bed thinking: did he get sick again, he’s being so loud, what if he wakes up Asher, it’s only 6:00 and I’m not ready to get up.  I open the door and I see Asher stand up and start jumping while giggling in his crib.  I hear, “Mommy, I’m awake.”  Even though I’m a little irritated, I can’t help but chuckle.  “I know.”  Once I see that Braeden is ok, I let him know that I’m not ready to get up.  I turn on the light in his room and go to my bed, expecting to fall back asleep.

I couldn’t fall back asleep.  I was listening intently on what was coming through the monitor.


-llaa laa, da da, ma ma ya ya (and other sorts of baby talk)

-a few thumps

-uh – oh (more baby talk)

-moments of silence


-Braeden breaking out into song:  “I’m on my way…..remember these country lanes when I did not know the answer and I drift away…….along the castle on the hill, ooh woo”

-oaah, ya ya (more baby talk)

It’s been almost 40 minutes.

Footsteps.  Closer, closer, closer.  “Mommy, could I have a little bit of your tape?”  I’m now beginning to wonder what is happening in the room next door.  “Yes, just this much.”  “Thank you mommy.”  Off he goes.

Footsteps again.  Closer, closer, closer.  “Special delivery!”

Braeden hands me two envelopes.  “I have a special delivery for you.”

Special Delivery

My heart bursts.  I make sure our eyes meet, “Thank you, Brae.”

“What do you think about eggs and bacon for breakfast?”  “Yes!Yes!Yes! Yeah!”

Sunday begins.

Too Fast

It’s sitting there.  Inches away on the coffee table.  Bright white.  Wording throughout.

Look away.

My mind speaks.  Only I can hear.

How is this possible?  Almost 5 years have past.  I’m not ready to move to the next stage of parenthood.  I still have so much to work on, so much to work toward being a better person, to be a better mom.  If 5 years goes this quickly, 10 years is just around the corner, then 20…

My thoughts begin to expose themselves.

“Crystal, is everything ok.”

Looking back at the coffee table.  At the paperwork to enroll Braeden into Kindergarten.  At Chris.

“It’s too fast.”

“He’s growing up too fast.”

Silver Bells

This Halloween is different.  Partly due to having a new addition to our family.  Partly due to Braeden’s choice on what to dress up as.  Partly due to the sense of accomplishment I felt making his costume.  Mostly due to Braeden.  Standing by my side in his Santa costume, eagerly wating for someone to answer the door.

“Trick or Treat”  He takes a piece of candy.  “Thank you”  The door begins to close.

I hear his sweet voice, “wait, wait”.  I watch his tiny hand grasp a silver bell, strung with red ribbon, out of his pocket.  Jingle, jingle.  Reaching out, he hands her the bell.  “Oh, is this for me?”  “Thank you!”  He has a smile from ear to ear.

This Halloween is different.  Mostly due to Braeden.  His choice to dress up as Santa and give a bell to everyone is more that just adorable to me.  It’s a testament to who Braeden is.  He loves the spirit of Christmas and admires Santa.  He loves to make connections with others.  He loves to give.  He loves life.  For Braeden, this exchange is more fulfilling than any candy bar; which vanishes in minutes.  This simple act of kindness has brought him pure joy.

As I look down at him by my side, I’m reminded how much I love him.  How much I love the person he is becoming.  We start to turn around, ready to walk to the next house.

I look up, beaming with pride.

I am blessed to share my life with you.

My Braeden.


Tonight before you lay down to sleep-we brushed our teeth, we sat at your desk and drew: 7 vacuums, 1 Arthur (from the TV show) and 1 Mommy, we read “The Bernstein Bears Visit the Dentist” and talked about your visit to the dentist, we sat on the couch and I tickled your back, we made one last trip to the bathroom, we walked quietly into your room so not to wake your little brother, “goodnight” you whispered into the crib, you took off your slippers and jumped under the covers, you gave me a hug and kiss, and I tucked you in.

“Goodnight sweetheart, sleep good and I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Goodnight Mommy, sleep good and I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Mommy, can I get another kiss and hug?”

Standing at the door, I blew you a kiss and hug.  You sat up, caught my kiss and hug bringing them to your heart.

Tonight before I lay down to sleep-I catch my breath.  I am so in love.


A couple weeks ago my youngest son had his two month old check up.  With any check up, there was the usual height and weight measurement.  The milestones checklist.  Ears and mouth…

“Did Braeden teethe early?”  the doctor asked.

I had to stop and remember, “Yes.  He was about 4 months old.”

“Well, it looks as though Asher will be teething early too.”


“Come look, his gums are swollen and you can see here the white.  Nothing has cut yet, but I can see he’ll teethe early like Braeden.”

“That explains all the drool.”

Last night, Asher had a terrible night sleeping, which equaled a quadruple terrible night for me.

“I’m. going. to. die.” my mind was screaming.

Well, I somehow survived today.

And today in Asher’s calendar (not even three months old yet), I had to write in, lower central incisors breaking through.

And today Asher received some Tylenol before going to bed.

And today I pray for us to get some sleep…